Obama administration is backing new aid to push electric-cars

2011 Chevrolet Volt

President Obama is standing in strong support of new legislation to funnel billions in additional aid to promote electric cars during a time of surmounting concern on Capitol Hill over American petroleum consumption and the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate bill proposes that the fed spend up to $10 billion to encourage sales of electric vehicles and would set up between 5 and 15 “˜deployment communities” throughout the United States.

The communities would receive aid to “help demonstrate rapid market penetration and determine what best practices would be helpful for nationwide deployment of electric vehicles,” said a Senate press release. Each of these communities would receive grants of up to $250 million each to build charging stations and other infrastructure for electric vehicles. A similar bill sits before the House as well.

The bills come out on top of existing federal programs for purchase incentives, and after automakers have tapped $25 billion in funds to retool plants to build more fuel-efficient vehicles, and after Washington has dished out $2.4 billion for new battery development.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said that it opposes the bill because of its lack of funding for other fuel technologies, and that it only provides aid to a small number of U.S. markets.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)